SAT Question of the Day (plus ACT): Mar. 22, 2014

If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email. (This link takes you to today’s question. If you use my archive, you will see the question related to my SAT explanation for that date.)

The answer is D.  The sentence is pretty awkward right now.  The “and bound” isn’t clearly related to a noun.  Is it the “the zipper” or the “teeth” that is being described?  The conjunction “and” isn’t necessary.  So, “and bound” is a problem and that makes it the right answer.  You don’t have to fix it; you just need to recognize it is wrong.  If you had to fix it, you could just drop the “and” or insert “that are” in the place of “and.”

If you are having trouble with the rules of grammar and composition,  I suggest you spend some time playing with

I wonder if the ACT folks have something new for us this morning.

ACT Question of the Day: Use your “back” button to return to my website after reading the ACT Question of the Day.

Comma rules will show up on both tests.  Be sure you have reviewed them if you are not entirely clear how and when commas are used.

The answer is B.  The comma is inappropriate.  Just delete it.  Why shouldn’t it be there?  The phrase “that have engaged people’s minds for centuries” limits or restricts the type of ideas that is being described.  That means you should not use a comma.  “Restrictive” or “limiting” clauses should not be set off by commas.  If the clause just described ideas in general, then you would keep the comma.

Another way to identify the error would be just to listen to the sentence as you read it.  Did you notice how you paused when you got to the comma?  That pause is unnecessary and also should signal a mistake.

Again, I suggest you review if you are having trouble with the grammar and composition sections of the tests.

Thought for the Day:

People often ask what it is that I do that raises scores.  I tell them that I provide hope which leads to effort (practice) which in turn increases confidence and that it is confidence that raises scores.  I kick-start a chain of events.

Helen Keller said it this way: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”  She was more eloquent than I.

Take advantage of your Saturday.

Bob Alexander, the “SAT and ACT Wizard”


About Bob Alexander

Bob has been a professional educator starting with teaching biology, becoming a school administrator, and then working as an education lobbyist in Washington, DC. He got his start in national testing by becoming a consulting test writer, later joining Kaplan as a director, and finally starting his own business in 1995. He has written numerous books, consulted for school districts and colleges, developed his website and been featured on a DVD set. He offers SAT and ACT prep classes and tutors individuals and small groups of students in central Florida.
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